Ahmotep - Favored Card


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I always like to bring up WoS because it is an item in adventure 1 that is strictly worse in 2 different ways than a basic card (admittedly that you can get only one of, but it still feels like an insult). You're right that Trapsmith was really hurt by being in a set that was abjectly terrible for it, but at least it was basic, so you could count on it leaving. Once Wand is in your box, it isn't leaving for the rest of the AP.


An easy way to determine if an early item is bad is to ask yourself "Is it in the Sorcerer Class Deck?" If so, then it's probably bad. :)

(At least I got a lot of use out of the Cape of the Mountebank Escape.)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A cards usefulness/uselessness depends on the deck and set it appears in.

Case in point, the Cat is a great upgrade for any spell casting classes, but was a waste of a card in the Fighter deck.


Tim Statler wrote:
Case in point, the Cat is a great upgrade for any spell casting classes, but was a waste of a card in the Fighter deck.

That's notorious. I think Tanis (who put together the deck) considered it thematic for Flenta. It's part of the story.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

In honor of Tanis, I will always take Cat for Flenta.


isaic16 wrote:
I'm curious, is Surgeon in the same position as the Staff? And if not, what's the difference that makes it more acceptable?

My guess is that the surgeon's opportunity cost is higher. There aren't many twitch tonic equivalents out there, but pretty much every ally can explore. By taking the surgeon, you're playing slower / less aggressively and having the surgeon replace one of its ideal targets.

Unless you use it to explore. Which sends it to the discard. I think I have literally never explored with it.

All that being said, the surgeon shuffles (the staff doesn't), which can be a huge benefit.

Longshot11 wrote:
We're always super-amazed reading how some players are ecstatic about a card that we find next to useless (yes, SoMH is one; the other that comes to mind is Restoration).

I'm surprised you don't like either; from what I've seen, most people who don't like restoration dislike it for reasons that cause the staff to have extra appeal to them. They are honestly opposites in a lot of ways.

The staff is so good I can't help but wonder what circumstances could cause you to see it as bad. Particularly if you're not a fan of drawing cards.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
The staff is so good I can't help but wonder what circumstances could cause you to see it as bad.

I'll gladly explain, so I don't come off as simply hatin'. I've had the opportunity to try out the SoMH in several party sizes: solo, 3,4 and 6 characters:

- solo: this play mode is different beast all on its own; your entire deck has to be ultra-specialized, to help compensate for all the weak sides of your character. Auto-succeed cards take priority (Amulet of Fortitude, Lizard). Due to having plenty of time, you rarely need to discard allies/blessings for explores, so your health is rarely in danger, especially if you don't fail BYA/Barrier checks (hence, the auto-succeed items taking priority over SoMH)
- 3-4-play: you have plenty of time (4 play: 60 cards in 30 turns mean you only need 2 explores/turn on average to see *all* cards, which is never the case), so you have plenty of Blessings/support to throw around. Failure rate is next to non-existent and therefore health is not an issue. On the contrary, items that can help characters beside the owner and/or offer multi-functionality rise in importance exponentially.
- 6-play: time is of the essence; you should expect that most of your allies/blessings are going to be spend on explores; therefore, again, it falls to items to secure success with very particular checks, that can't be helped by extra blessings on the table. Also, with the exception of handful of characters, we pretty much assume a recharged card is never to be seen again (as you only have 5 turns, which mostly translates in 4 useful hand resets; basically, for the SoMH to have any impact at all - it has to be played with your first couple of turns, and then it will only matter on your last turn, probably).
I will admit, if SoMH was shuffle-healing, we would think it one of the better items out there (the shuffle itself being much more valuable than the 1 healed card itself); as it is, it's just not working for us.

As for the Restoration, it's more difficult to rationalize. I prefer 6-play, and one should think I would like this card for the chance to go through my deck more quickly in the mere 5 turns I have. However, in the end it only gives you a 1 card net benefit (unless maybe you're Ezren? was Restoration Divine-only?), and I much rather have an useful card (spell) *now*, than *maybe* draw an extra useful card .


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
The staff is so good I can't help but wonder what circumstances could cause you to see it as bad.

I'll gladly explain, so I don't come off as simply hatin'. I've had the opportunity to try out the SoMH in several party sizes: solo, 3,4 and 6 characters:

- solo: this play mode is different beast all on its own; your entire deck has to be ultra-specialized, to help compensate for all the weak sides of your character. Auto-succeed cards take priority (Amulet of Fortitude, Lizard). Due to having plenty of time, you rarely need to discard allies/blessings for explores, so your health is rarely in danger, especially if you don't fail BYA/Barrier checks (hence, the auto-succeed items taking priority over SoMH)
- 3-4-play: you have plenty of time (4 play: 60 cards in 30 turns mean you only need 2 explores/turn on average to see *all* cards, which is never the case), so you have plenty of Blessings/support to throw around. Failure rate is next to non-existent and therefore health is not an issue. On the contrary, items that can help characters beside the owner and/or offer multi-functionality rise in importance exponentially.
- 6-play: time is of the essence; you should expect that most of your allies/blessings are going to be spend on explores; therefore, again, it falls to items to secure success with very particular checks, that can't be helped by extra blessings on the table. Also, with the exception of handful of characters, we pretty much assume a recharged card is never to be seen again (as you only have 5 turns, which mostly translates in 4 useful hand resets; basically, for the SoMH to have any impact at all - it has to be played with your first couple of turns, and then it will only matter on your last turn, probably).
I will admit, if SoMH was shuffle-healing, we would think it one of the better items out there (the shuffle itself being much more valuable than the 1 healed card itself); as it is, it's just not working for us.

As for the Restoration, it's more...

For SoMH, I can definitely see where you're coming from. However, for me there are a couple minor differences that make me like it more. First, if you're in a 5+ player games, where you need all the explore you can get, the SoMH works really well in decks that cycle at insane rates (Seoni is the gold-standard here), since you're almost guaranteed to be using it to bring back more exploration, which you can then cycle back to the top. In a deck like that, SoMH is essentially an extra explore that only costs a recharge to use.

As for the item use thing, I feel strongly different from you. Auto-success items are just too situational for large-party games, since they die in your hand and keep you from your explores. If you have a check you can't do yourself, it generally becomes a cost-benefit of how many explores it would cost to best it, versus how many you gain by winning (ie checks to close are worth far more than just one explore) and the group can invest blessings corresponding to the need. The only items we really used for auto-success were thieves tools, since they were much easier to cycle to get your explores.

Not saying you're wrong, but for our group, that was the best strategy, and SoMH was perfect for it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
isaic16 wrote:
As for the item use thing, I feel strongly different from you. Auto-success items are just too situational for large-party games, since they die in your hand and keep you from your explores.

That's exactly why it is very important who you give them two. I always aim for the holders to cover at least one of 2 criteria:

- they can use the Item for power fuel, worst case: Merisiels' Backstab, Harsk's Sniper Shot, Seoni's Fireball...
- they are the weakest party member for the checks in question; that way I achieve two results:
a)they can still acquire a precious boon, if they happen to encounter it, and
b) now, I have an additional closing specialist

A common example: Ezren in RotR. There've been plenty of scenarios where my Dex and Wis closers have their hands plenty, but no locations that require Int/Arcane (or there is one, and Ezren blows through it on his first turn like there's no tomorrow). Now, I have this super-powerful wizard, all-decked out with deadly spells and with nowhere to go (as he'd blow the closing check). But give hive him a Crown of Charisma, and he's suddenly the best guy to close Scarnetti Manor or Prison; or give him an Amulet of Fortitude - and he's not only ready to tear Deeper Dungeons a new one, but I also won't be cursing all the gods for when an Ebon Thorn armor comes his way, and he only has a d4 to throw at it.

On the flip side, we have the Merisiels and Harsks, which, when not using the Crown of Charisma to stab monsters, will recharge it to get the occasional ally, which is an additional explore at the cost of recharge, any way you cut it.

Not saying your group is wrong either :) I just *really* get a kick out of seeing how different playstyles can be in PACG.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I guess what you are saying ultimately (and we agree) is that the "interest" of a given card may be dependent of the number of characters playing. Which is somehow fun because in our home game we rebuild our decks at the end of a scenario not knowing sometimes who will be there on the next week-end. Part of the fun of always only playing one character per player.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yeah, probably the biggest example of a card with varied power based on party size is Holy Candle. In a single-player game it's borderline useless, as you have exactly as many explores as there are cards in locations, so you will pretty much never fear the clock. In a 6-player game, it's the single most valuable card in the game by a country mile, and you'd never even consider giving it up. I even remember in one group I was playing, we were in a close scenario that we were still probably winning, but we willingly sacrificed multiple blessings, probably sacrificing the scenario, to make sure we got the Candle when someone flipped it, since it would make so many future scenarios so much easier.

Paizo Employee Designer

isaic16 wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
The staff is so good I can't help but wonder what circumstances could cause you to see it as bad.

I'll gladly explain, so I don't come off as simply hatin'. I've had the opportunity to try out the SoMH in several party sizes: solo, 3,4 and 6 characters:

- solo: this play mode is different beast all on its own; your entire deck has to be ultra-specialized, to help compensate for all the weak sides of your character. Auto-succeed cards take priority (Amulet of Fortitude, Lizard). Due to having plenty of time, you rarely need to discard allies/blessings for explores, so your health is rarely in danger, especially if you don't fail BYA/Barrier checks (hence, the auto-succeed items taking priority over SoMH)
- 3-4-play: you have plenty of time (4 play: 60 cards in 30 turns mean you only need 2 explores/turn on average to see *all* cards, which is never the case), so you have plenty of Blessings/support to throw around. Failure rate is next to non-existent and therefore health is not an issue. On the contrary, items that can help characters beside the owner and/or offer multi-functionality rise in importance exponentially.
- 6-play: time is of the essence; you should expect that most of your allies/blessings are going to be spend on explores; therefore, again, it falls to items to secure success with very particular checks, that can't be helped by extra blessings on the table. Also, with the exception of handful of characters, we pretty much assume a recharged card is never to be seen again (as you only have 5 turns, which mostly translates in 4 useful hand resets; basically, for the SoMH to have any impact at all - it has to be played with your first couple of turns, and then it will only matter on your last turn, probably).
I will admit, if SoMH was shuffle-healing, we would think it one of the better items out there (the shuffle itself being much more valuable than the 1 healed card itself); as it is, it's just not working for us.

As for the

...

In addition to Seoni in RotRL, my first ever character, Sajan, wound up with an incredibly powerful and cycly deck over time, without that much planning (since I was a newbie). The basic mix was Sajan + as many hand size power feats as possible + blessings as every card feat you can + two SoMH as items and then possibly some things you can bury to get them out of circulation to quicken your cycles. Basically you explore one extra time per turn on average or help people when you have the double blessing and always recharge all the blessings for Sajan's power on your last combat of the round to cycle faster, then the 2xSoMH cure back the blessings you had to discard. He wound up self-sustainable, reliable on checks, and able to explore several times (of course, with his incredibly small starting hand size, there were growing pains to get there), and the SoMH were pretty much essential for the cycle.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
In addition to Seoni in RotRL, my first ever character, Sajan, wound up with an incredibly powerful and cycly deck over time...

OK, I do have to ask - how do you guys play a high-cycling RotR Seoni? She starts with measly 3 spells, and no matter how many card feats you throw there, she can never get to the level of Ezren, or even the divine casters. Most of the time, I had to discard cards for combat, and that doesn't strictly fall into my definition of "cycling".

She ended up tied-up for my least favorite RotR character (the other one, funnily enough, being Sajan...).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
In addition to Seoni in RotRL, my first ever character, Sajan, wound up with an incredibly powerful and cycly deck over time...

OK, I do have to ask - how do you guys play a high-cycling RotR Seoni? She starts with measly 3 spells, and no matter how many card feats you throw there, she can never get to the level of Ezren, or even the divine casters. Most of the time, I had to discard cards for combat, and that doesn't strictly fall into my definition of "cycling".

She ended up tied-up for my least favorite RotR character (the other one, funnily enough, being Sajan...).

Three reasons. First, the aforementioned SoMH, since it essentially turned a combat discard or exploration into cycling two cards. Second, our Seoni, since she could discard for combat, spent her spell slots on buffs that she cycled every turn. Third, since I was in 6-player groups, she usually had a designated healer with her that would shuffle back all of the cards she used.

I guess, in the end, it wasn't so much that she cycled as she burned through her cards (since something like 2/3+ of her deck was cards which could explore), and then used healing effects (either SoMH or another character's heals) to get them back so she could explore again. She was probably the MVP of our first campaign just because her outstanding exploration ability coupled with healing was how we were able to explore enough to beat the timer.


Longshot11 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
In addition to Seoni in RotRL, my first ever character, Sajan, wound up with an incredibly powerful and cycly deck over time...

OK, I do have to ask - how do you guys play a high-cycling RotR Seoni? She starts with measly 3 spells, and no matter how many card feats you throw there, she can never get to the level of Ezren, or even the divine casters. Most of the time, I had to discard cards for combat, and that doesn't strictly fall into my definition of "cycling".

She ended up tied-up for my least favorite RotR character (the other one, funnily enough, being Sajan...).

The way you explain your playstyle (especially playing with a party of 6), it seems you focus on characters that can fill a lot of roles at the same time, so you cater their decks toward that.

Imho, seoni works best when she is the only arcane character in a (medium-sized) party and makes things dead with attack spells, so she doesn't fit your bill. She won't ever be a god at cycling if you expect her to recharge her hand every turn, but she has a much better potential for it than characters like Amiri, which feel very stationary to me.

To make her cycling, put all card feats into spells and items, and choose mainly arcane items that allow for a recharge check - you can go close to 12 cards on auto recharge by the end of RotR with her power feat. Use her on spell heavy locations, since every additional spell will increase her cycle ability until the end of the scenario.
If you get her to explore a lot, she can acquire a lot of trash to discard for her spell like ability, so it's not an issue normally. Also, don't increase her hand size at first to make her less prone to dying.

I gave her 1 augury, 2 haste and 3 attack spells in the app, which works out fine. If she is the only arcane caster in your party, she can make good use of the extra spells she finds. With ezren in the party as well, she becomes much less efficient, since he can grab a lot of spells she would need.

She is overall more risky to play than ezren, since the cycling gets easier the less life you have, but can use the heavy spells toward the end of the AP much more frequently and reliable. I think she feels more like a traditional rpg wizard (weak at first, powerful towards the end) than ezren, who is all about versatility.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

In a vacuum (because it really depends on the whole party's makeup) I give Seoni Father Zantus and Poog in addition to the staves of minor healing. It is sort of delayed cycling, since you are healing them back, but it does a great job at keeping her alive.

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